Ming the Mechanic:
Lessig proposal

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Lessig proposal2003-01-19 23:59
by Flemming Funch

Lawrence Lessig has a new proposal which possibly might be more likely to fly:
"Here is something you can do right now. In this NYT op-ed, I describe a proposal that would move more work into the public domain than a total victory in the Supreme Court would have. The basic idea is this: 50 years after a work has been 'published', a copyright owner would be required to pay a copyright tax. That tax should be extremely low--this proposal says $50, but it could be $1. If the copyright holder does not pay the tax for 3 years, then the work is forfeit to the public domain. If the copyright holder does pay the tax, then its contacting agent would be made a matter of public record. Very quickly we would have a cheap, searchable record, of what work is controlled and what work is free."
I think the point is that the compromise would allow corporations to hold on to the 'properties' they truly are doing something with, while the rest, maybe 98% would end up in the public domain, to the pleasure of the general public. Only problem I see is that if the 'tax' is too minimal, the big media companies would most likely choose to pay it on everything, just to hold on to it. There is also a FAQ .

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